Sunday, August 21, 2016

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

After a crazy summer of job transition, wedding festivities, training, and more the summer is finally coming to a close and the new school year is beginning.  What a better way to start the year than to finish blended (better late than never) and step out of my comfort zone and blog?

My campus is bustling with excitement as everyone prepares for the new school year.  After a moving, personal, and inspirational convocation, people seem more motivated than ever.  I feel that convocation, with its diverse presentations, truly represented SBISD.  It also served as a much needed reminder of why I became an educator.

Since I will not have my own classroom this year, I have been collaborating with one of my coworkers to create a blended learning space in her 4th grade classroom.  We are currently focusing on building relationships, incorporating flexible seating, implementing a station rotation model, and analyzing student data so that instruction is focused and student-centered.  As we move forward, there are many things to consider, including:

1. What are the students' jobs to be done?  As blended expresses, "many students languish in school ... because education isn't a job that they are trying to do.  ... there are two core jobs that are the highest priority for most students.  First, they want to feel successful ... Second, they want to have fun with friends."  How do we create a learning environment that fulfills the job for students?  I feel like this ideal will continuously evolve as we learn in grow with our class this year.

2. How are we going to design the teacher role from the student perspective, while still maintaining teacher buy-in?  Students need teachers to move beyond lock-step instruction and to fill a mentoring gap.  Teachers need motivators and recognition for their efforts.

blended shows how blended classroom designs benefit both students and teachers by:
     a) introducing opportunities for students to make progress everyday and have fun and
     b) allowing for broad, new opportunities to access intrinsic motivators for teachers.

After reading blended I have realized that I have many things to consider as we incorporate a blended model into my coworkers classroom this year.  I have also realized that this year is going to be one of many trials, successes, and failures.

I cannot wait to learn and grow as an educator as I embark on this new adventure with the Vanguard team!  As we move forward remember:

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future.  The learned usually find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."  & "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."


  1. I think that you have captured the essence of change perfectly here. All too often I focus on what is best for kids, and think that teachers should blindly change their practice because it is for the best. Redesigning the teacher role in a thoughtful and caring manner is important also...thank you so much for that reminder! Can't wait to see what happens this year, and so excited to be a part of it!

  2. "..they want to feel successful...they want to have fun with friends." While the quotation was referencing students, I wonder if that doesn't also capture teacher desires - and is possibly a reason for increase in teacher motivation in blended classrooms. Looking forward to elevating teachers and students through productive struggle this year!